One Big Post: Stay Patient, Browns Fans

I feel like we’ve been here before.

It can’t all feel this familiar for no reason, can it?  A new coaching staff, a busted bubble on what we thought our roster was capable of producing, another season at the bottom of the division.  Another season closer to a number one draft position than a playoff position.  Another season come, another season that has slipped past any hope of redemption.

It must be Cleveland in December.

If this all feels like deja vu, like we’ve been here before, it’s because we have.  We’ve been here over and over again, a coaching carousel, a quarterback carousel, a roster that looks to be ready for a break out season that falls painfully short.  Even the verbiage that we hear from the front office sounds exactly the same.  “We’re growing”.  “We’re improving every week”.  “This is a process”.

It must be Cleveland in December.

We’ve been here before, and we’ve run those previous guys out of town in an average of about 2.7 years.  In some cases, they deserved it.  Shurmur should have never been hired, Romeo Crennel couldn’t hack it as a head coach, Chris Palmer deserves to be on that list as well.  But, while hiring the wrong people has been a part of the problem, the other part of the problem is that we, as fans, expect a new coach to equate in to immediate success.  The reality of the situation is that it’s not always going to work out that way, as the Browns since 1999 prove.  Continuity does wonders for an NFL franchise long term.  A front office and staff shouldn’t be judged off of one draft, but the weight of multiple drafts.  They shouldn’t be judged off of one season, but the body of their work.  We don’t ever get that far, because we’re so mad about the weight of total failure all these years, that we’ll be damned if we wait around on these guys to waste another 3 years boobing the whole thing up.

It must be Cleveland in December.

I’m not saying there aren’t things to question.  There are.  This front office missed opportunities for mid-late round value in last years draft for the sake of this draft.  Alonso, Matheiu, Trufant, Bernard, all available with those picks we traded to Pittsburgh, all making an impact on their respective teams.  Some of Chud’s game management (read: times outs, clock utilization, QB rotation, coin toss) leave me thinking that he’s over thinking the game.  Norv’s refusal to try and run, even when that’s exactly what we should do when our QB has a rib injury that makes throwing the ball 50+ times a game in a Cleveland winter, leaves me questioning his judgment.  Ray Horton’s inability to come up with a real answer (other than “LOOK AT THESE STATISTICS”) about why his defense fails to show up on 3rd down and in the 4th quarter, and the at times predictable nature of his unpredictable blitz scheme make me ponder why he hasn’t made adjustments.  Chris Tabor owes us an explanation as to why his special teams unit has cost us at least 3 games by my count.

These things should be questioned.  They should be corrected.  But as Winter is here, and as surely as another Winter will follow next year, remember this:  If we want to see our team Rise, we need to be willing to give this front office and coaching staff time to get the players they want, install the systems they want, and give adequate time to see if it all works.  If once they have had time to draft/sign the guys they say they need for the systems they want to run, and we can clearly see those offensive and defensive schemes in full effect, then we can rightly judge the situation.  The fact is, it’s not this year.  It’s probably not next year.  Probably not even the year after.  That’s life in the NFL.  It can be a tough pill to swallow, because we just want to see our team not be a joke around the league.  God knows that’s what I want.  If that’s what we want though, we have to give these guys the time to see it through.

So remember, if you want to see another coaching change and front office turnover, if you want to start from scratch again in 2.7 years, fine.  But don’t bitch and moan when you get exactly that.

It must be Cleveland in December.



Bark Right Here

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